As an Army Brat, I traveled the world, and experienced cultures across the globe. It was an incredible way to grow up. But no matter how far afield we were, my parents held fast to the Midwest values they had both learned growing up during the Great Depression.
As an Army Colonel, my father always exhibited those core values: honor, honesty, faith, decency, thrift, moderation, and service to others. As children my siblings and I were expected to learn and model the same beliefs. Fair play and respect were incredibly important in our household. Bullying wasn’t tolerated, nor were tattling or whining. Our word was something to be protected. A reputation was something that should never be sullied. Those weaker than us were to be protected and lifted up.
I think that is why this campaign season is so bothersome to me. I’ve seen multiple Presidential campaigns come and go…but never have I seen one so divisive.
When did we become a country who would applaud someone who is the antithesis of everything we hold dear? When would bigotry, egotism, bullying, misogyny and racism become not only OK, but something to be celebrated?
I will not mention names, nor will I try to convince you to vote for any one candidate. I just want to remind you that there are certain principles that American’s have always embraced…..until now.
We have always prided ourselves on being the world’s “melting pot”. Now we are calling for borders to be closed.
Our country was founded on freedom of religion….but we are now distrustful and hateful towards folks of other faiths.
We have always believed in concept of innocent until proven guilty….now we are damning entire ethnic groups due to the actions of a few.
This wonderful, amazing country was based on the belief that “all men are created equal” but now we are inciting violence against others who believe differently than ourselves.
There is no honest discourse. There is no compromise. There is no thought of the greater good.
People of morality and faith need to stand up and cry “enough”. It may be too late this election cycle, but we need to remember the things that made our country great. And we need to work together to make sure our children and grandchildren can enjoy the freedoms we may have begun to take for granted.
This is the greatest country on earth…just as it stands. We can choose to take pride and joy in that, and continue to grow. Or we can sink into a cesspool of fear and hate. It’s totally up to us.
My core values will remain the same, regardless of the outcome of this election. I refuse to allow fear or insecurity to damage the beliefs I hold dear, the lessons my parents taught me. I will hold strong to the belief that it is my duty to protect those who need protecting, to teach the young the things they need to help make the world a better place, and that a hand extended in friendship goes much further than a fist raised in anger.